One of the unique features about being a volunteer with Voluntario Global is the sense of family. The coordinators of the organization truly value the relationship made with volunteers from all over the world and how important it is to recognize their commitment to making a difference in Buenos Aires. Aside from an occasional planned event to take a tour of Teatro Colon or playing futbol, each month volunteers are invited to the center office in Congresso on Avenida de Mayo to celebrate various accomplishments of the organization, volunteers and the projects they serve. During these meetings, volunteers have the opportunity to meet other volunteers as well as talk about anything from culture to politics.
Last week, I was fortunate to participate in “La Reunion de Voluntarios” (Volunteers Meeting). It was nice to finally meet some of the volunteers I’ve heard about but never met in person. There were nine volunteers —some new, some seasoned, two coordinators, Valeria and Milena, and two members of Voluntario Global’s Youth Committee—. We engaged in topics like political systems and candidates running in the Elections in Argentina. If you don't know by now, Argentinians are very open to discuss almost anything and politics is a particular passionate subject for many porteños, especially now.
Some of the volunteers like me, who come from a ‘well-established’ democracy such as the United States of America, are not used to discussing politics without consequences. However, the differences in opinions and ideologies at “La Reunion de Voluntarios” was educational. We had a long two-hour chat about the different governments and political ideologies – Socialism, Communism, Liberalism, Democratic, Republican, Labor, etc, and of course the candidates, Daniel Scioli and Mauricio Macri, and their vision for the future of the country in terms of the economy, employment and international and domestic trade. At the close of our reunion, I felt enriched with a new understanding of the history, culture and political climate here in Argentina and that of other countries and the volunteers currently working with Voluntario Global.
Who knows what we'll discuss next month. Stay tuned!